Message: I have always kind of looked at Matthew chapter 5 in segments even when reading the whole thing. We know the first eleven verses as the “Be Attitudes” from the sermon on the mount. Then verse 12 begins by telling us that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. This is also a very well known passages of scripture, but today I saw the significance of these two passages together. Not as different thoughts but as one fluid thought. Jesus was encouraging them (and us) that the struggles we go through become a blessing when we are in Christ because God fulfills what we need out of each struggle. We are blessed when we mourn because we will be comforted. We are blessed when we hunger and thirst after righteousness because we will be filled. We are blessed when we are persecuted for his sake because our reward is in heaven. But then he tells us we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. In the context of what we just read before that it reminds me that while we are going through all of the things described in the be attitudes- people are watching and observing our responses. My response will either look like everyone else’s or my responses will stand out and contrast as different from the norm.
Command: Be salt and light to the world. We aren’t trying to blend into the culture around us.
Promise: God will be there for every struggle. The struggles make us grow and mature, and he rewards us when we stay faithful, and people will glorify God when they see our good works.
Warning: Apart from Christ we have none of these blessings and our suffering has no reward!
Application: For me this is a reminder to keep my attitude in check. Nobody enjoys suffering but we all tolerate suffering a little but better when we know there is a hope and that our suffering is not in vain. Lord Jesus, please help me to check my heart and attitude when I want to complain and when I want to avenge myself or respond negatively to the pressure around me.